Monday, 18 March 2013

Inglenook / Chimney Breast Tutorial

I know it's often asked about how you make an Inglenook or chimney breast.  There's lots of materials you can use but the basic construction is the same.

I've just made an Inglenook / alcove for a customer to fit a kitchen range I previously sold to her and I thought it might be useful to take a few photos and document the process for the benefit of others.

This one is made from 4mm laser cut plywood.  I started with a CAD drawing that I sent to a friend Lazercutz who laser cut it for me and then I assembled the parts using a simple right angle jig to keep everything square.

I needed to keep everything lightweight because it's being posted abroad so I used a bit of square balsa wood to support the corners and provide rigidity.

Top view showing assembly

I coated it all in a thin layer of very fine polyfiller to give a plaster effect finish and painted it with emulsion.  White for the plaster and a light grey in the alcove to act as a grout colour.

Plaster effect finish, painted

I made a lintel - again, to keep the weight down I veneered a bit of jelutong with oak veneer and made it a bit deeper on one edge to fit into the alcove to look as though the lintel actually fits into the chimney.

Oak veneered lintel
It was finished with brick versi-slips from Richard Stacey.  Just used Tacky glue to stick them on with.  Just watch out for ones that half lift off after a couple of minutes!

Lintel and brick versi-slips

It was built to fit a specific house but it's approximately 8" high, 6" wide and 1.25" deep with an alcove 4" x 4" to fit one of the Phoenix Model kitchen range kits.

Finished chimney breast

I hope the tutorial is useful.


PS.  Custom alcoves / chimney breasts are now available on my website.


  1. Hello Jennifer,
    Great tutorial. I lvoe the lintel.
    Big hug,

  2. Hi Jennifer! A really good tutorial! Wonderful brick work too!